Dr. Lynn Moore Ph.D, MassBay Community College Chief Diversity Officer, Director of Students of Color, sent an email to the MassBay community following the school Town Meeting: MassBay Community Response to the Death of George Floyd.
In response to the tragic death of George Floyd, President Podell called a Town Hall for the MassBay Community titled: Let Us Come together as a Community in Response to the Death of George Floyd. As President Podell suggested in his invitation, it was a time for us to come together to share our thoughts, our grief, our frustrations, and our hopes. The ethos of the Town Hall allowed us to share.
During the Town Hall, we shared our experiences and hopes for our MassBay community. We paused for 8 minutes and 45 seconds, representing the time Mr. Floyd had a knee on his neck. After, we reflected and shared experiences, concerns, and resources to help us move the needle of justice. The Town Hall ended with a reading from Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes (1938), and we listened to I Wish I knew How It Would Feel to Be Free by Nina Simone.
I have attached a summary of comments from the meeting, as well as suggested resource links.
Please reach out if you have any suggestions, concerns on how to assist in enhancing our work in making MassBay a community that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Thoughts and messages from Colleagues
- Racism is the central public health crisis that sits at the heart of the democratic project that is the United States. It will take a concerted effort to face that historical truth, its ongoing dehumanizing impact, and healing.
- “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
— Benjamin Franklin
- James Baldwin said when asked by a white woman in Berkeley, CA, in the ’60s: what can I do for you? James Baldwin replied: “It’s not what you can do for me, but rather it’s what you can do for yourself.” And he continued about how racism dehumanizes all, and to this point, dehumanize white people, and therefore white folks (I am one) are or should be committed and invested.
- There is a responsibility taught in the Jewish community — Tikun Olam: Repair of the World. WE are all responsible for doing this. It is doing little things every day, intentionally and thoughtfully, to make life better for everyone. We all need to do better. There’s a lot to fix.
- “When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and the corners of the streets, that men may see them.”
- You keep saying, “It’s horrible that an innocent black man was killed, but destroying property has to stop.” Try saying, “It’s horrible that property is being destroyed, but killing innocent black men has to stop.“ You are prioritizing the wrong part.
- We need to reform our entire society. We need to reform the hearts of white jurors who falsely convict Black and Brown people. We need to reform our white neighbors who blame oppressed people. We need to address the hearts of those who vote for violence, for injustice, for xenophobia.
- What we teach in criminal justice and how we train police officers are all well and good, but the point is that racism is engrained in the structures, the culture, and the very fabric of the United States of America. We don’t get off as easily as changing the criminal justice system or changing our profile pictures.
- The usual commitments to change are not enough. Only demonstrable actions will evidence a commitment!
I miss my MassBay Family! Thank you for bringing us together to share and show our love and support. You are all in my heart.
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